Andrea Mitchell to John Kerry: Does Ariz. Bill ‘Undercut Our Moral Posture’ on Human Rights Abuses?

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell obtained an exclusive interview with Secretary of State John Kerry that aired live during her MSNBC program Andrea Mitchell Reports on Wednesday February 26 and used the opportunity to ask Kerry about Arizona’s religious freedom vs. gay rights debate surround SB 1062.

Mitchell decided to inject MSNBC’s liberal talking points on the proposed law law and whether or not such a bill would “undercut our moral posture telling Uganda and other countries, Putin for instance, on human rights abuses against people for reasons of their sexuality when one of our states is about to do this unless it’s vetoed by the governor?” [See video below.]

Mitchell’s decision to conflate an Arizona bill dealing with religious freedom to a law in Uganda that actually criminalizes homosexuality is disingenuous. While there is debate about how the Arizona bill will be applied, MSNBC has chosen not to engage in such a discussion. Instead, Mitchell took MSNBC’s agenda one step further by questioning whether or not America has the moral authority to condemn Uganda, a country that actually jails someone for being gay, because Arizona might enact a law that tries to protect the religious rights of private companies.   

MSNBC seems to be perfectly content presenting SB 1062 solely as an “anti-gay” bill rather than discussing the merits of whether or not the state should force private businesses to participate in a gay wedding if it goes against their religious beliefs. Mitchell seemed to mirror her NBC colleague Chuck Todd who during an earlier appearance on Morning Joe on Wednesday chose to slam Arizona instead of discussing the contents of the Arizona bill.

 

See relevant transcript below.


MSNBC

Andrea Mitchell Reports

February 26, 2014

12:25 p.m. Eastern

ANDREA MITCHELL: Uganda, you have an anti-homosexual law in Uganda. Now we have a state, Arizona where the governor has yet to make a decision whether to permit a ban on businesses serving gays and lesbians. Doesn’t it undercut our moral posture telling Uganda and other countries, Putin for instance, on human rights abuses against people for reasons of their sexuality when one of our states is about to do this unless it’s vetoed by the governor?   

JOHN KERRY: Well let’s see whether the governor vetoes it. I am counting on the governor. I cannot imagine how that law would withstand the scrutiny of the Supreme Court of the United States. So I would hope that she'll make the right decision. And until then, it doesn't no. And we have been through own struggle, everybody knows that. This is not been an easy path in the United States. But what's important is we are on the path, we are staying steady, we have made enormous progress in the United States and we will stand up for people's rights anywhere in the world because that's who we are in the United States of America. I think this law in Uganda, the notion that somebody for being gay would be thrown into jail for 14 years or otherwise punished in other ways is disgraceful. We have spoken out about it. It's contrary to fundamental basic human rights. It's also contrary to science. It's contrary to fact. It's contrary to everything that we believe is representative of a growing understanding in the world about the rights of our fellow human beings. And so we will fight against it. Now, I was not aware until recently, very recently, that there are 80 countries that have laws on their books of one kind or another that outlaw homosexuality. And it's just -- this is going to be now a fight that's going to be taken from places where great progress has been made to the world. And I think we're going to see increasing discussion, increasing change and ultimately I believe people's rights will be honored in the way that they should be. It will take a while longer, but this is a fight worth fighting. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.